Work boots have to meet some very tough criteria: they have to provide safety, traction, waterproofing and lightweight comfort. In fact, they work just as hard as their owners do. Workplace safety regulations also help to define the construction and design of work boots; that’s why the best steel toe boots protect workers’ feet from accidents and injury in a variety of work settings.
Hardworking boots for hardworking people
Heavy duty work boots have to be suitable for people working in some of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in industry and agriculture. They have to protect the feet, which are very vulnerable. They have to provide traction on slippery work floors, which may be slick with water, grease or oil. And they have to be lightweight and comfortable enough for people who are on their feet for eight-hour stretches or longer.
The best steel toe boots provide protection for the feet, which are very vulnerable in both industrial and agricultural workplaces. Working around heavy machinery and large animals greatly increases the possibility of feet getting stepped on or otherwise needing protection from heavy weights and high impacts.
The good news is that safety shoes or boots can do a lot to prevent workplace foot injuries. In fact, about 75% of all workplace injuries happened when workers were not in compliance with safety regulations, according to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The United States Department of Labor reported that in 2012, out of a total 4,600 fatal injuries on the job, 666 were caused by falls, slips and trips. Industrial and agricultural work floors can be slippery. Oil, grease, water, mud and even muck can make shop and barn floors slippery and dangerous.
High traction work boots help to prevent slips and falls, improving overall workplace safety. When it comes to first responder and law enforcement boots, high traction is essential for safety in rugged and unfamiliar terrain. They should allow the wearer to move swiftly and with safety in a variety of conditions, including rain, snow and mud.
When you’re on your feet all day, comfortable footwear is a must. For example, construction workers and laborers walk three times as much as an average person every day.
Comfortable work boots should be lightweight, have a proper fit and allow the feet to breathe. They should also leave enough toe room, with about 12.5 mm in the front of the shoe.
Designing the perfect heavy duty work boots
Workplace injuries can be a major problem for both workers and employers. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that foot or toe injury force workers to miss seven days of work on average. Safety measures improve working conditions and also provide overall savings. In fact it is reported that reducing accidents by just 10% can lead to savings of almost $60,000 a year.
Under the OSHA regulations listed in 29 CFR 1910.132(d), employers are required to conduct a hazard assessment of workplace risks. This includes foot injury hazards. As noted above, workplace injuries can be prevented by using the right gear.
The standards for safety for work boots are defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). ASTM F2413-11 is specifically concerned with measuring the safety performance of work boots.
The best steel toe boots and comfortable work boots designed in the U.S. have become popular worldwide. This has led to adaptations in their design to meet local conditions in terms of climate, tastes and uniform requirements.
The best steel toe boots meet all safety requirements and can play a big part in preventing workplace injuries, while contributing to the overall comfort and safety of workers in difficult and important jobs.